I got a call from Tom asking me to meet him in our local pub to discuss the script and how best to present it to to the director general of the BBC. Unfortunately, I was running a bit late and Tom was already three quarters down his third pint of cider.
Tom used to be a lighthouse keeper, but due to the lighthouse automation scheme (read about that here) a few years ago, he lost his job and has been out of work ever since.
Tom was gently rocking from side to side, which he assured me wasn’t due to the cider, but to the zinadol he’d had with his breakfast.
It was hard to steer the conversation to work, Tom preferring to talk about his childhood in deepest darkest Lancashire. He started telling me about this really brilliant thing he had at home called his “Ant Arena”. He said he’d had it since his schooldays. He told me it was a Burnley thing, rooted in the early 1980’s; that loads of kids up there had them back then.